28 Jun 2013 03:40
KARASBURG, 28 JUN (NAMPA) - Eight suspected Somali refugees who fled from South Africa and allegedly entered Namibia illegally told the Karasburg District Court this week that they want to live here because they have heard that Namibians are ?good people?.
The Somali men apparently crossed the Orange River to gain entry into Namibia, but they were arrested on 07 June by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) at Noordoewer settlement along the Orange River in the Karas Region.
Before coming into Namibia, the men -Kafi Ali Hassam, 24, Abdal Osman Farah, 24, Mohamed Ali Jin, 29, Osma Abeli Zakariya, 23, Abdi Siyar Mohamed, 29, Hassan Abdulle Mohammed, 41, Cisse Mohamed, 48, and 70-year-old Aboubakary Salie ? were said to have stayed as asylum seekers in South Africa.
?They told the court that they left South Africa due to xenophobia to come stay in Namibia because they heard that Namibians are good people,? the State Prosecutor at Karasburg District Court Basson Lilungwe told Nampa on Thursday.
Some police officers from Karasburg also confirmed the statements, saying the refugees said they would like to apply for refugee status whilst they are in Namibia.
Salie and Cisse appeared in the Karasburg District Court on 21 June, while the others appeared in that same court on 26 June this year.
Magistrate Jenifer Nghishitende ordered each one of them separately to pay a fine of N.dollars 500 or to spend three months in prison.
In the meantime, they are to remain in police custody until they find the money to pay the fines.
After paying their fines, the refugees will be deported to South Africa.